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Harvard has around 20 times the investment of Australia’s top-ranked university. Flickr/Yoshi

Top-ranked universities have more money than Australian unis could dream of

Education Minister Christopher Pyne claimed his plan to deregulate university fees was essential to boosting Australia's place in the rankings. But no student fee rise will give us close to the level of funds of the top ranked unis.
The number of refugee deaths at sea is on the rise internationally. AAP Image/Scott Fisher

FactCheck: did 1200 refugees die at sea under Labor?

It is broadly correct to say 1200 asylum seekers died at sea under Labor. Globally and in our region, however, more asylum seekers than ever are leaving their country by boat.
Schools in Canada are less selective, and therefore the system is more equitable. Sean_Marshall

The lesson from Canada: why Australia should have fewer selective schools

In most English-speaking countries, students are guaranteed a place at their local public high school. Students also have a right to apply for admission to a school of their choice, such as a private school…
Ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s impeachment is but the latest act in Thailand’s political tragedy. EPA/Narong Sangnak

Yingluck impeachment is an execution of Thai democracy

No-one should be surprised that Thailand’s former prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, has been impeached by the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly. This was one more act in a political tragedy…
Detained asylum seekers on Manus Island are searching for ways to communicate and be heard beyond the faceless inhumane bureaucracy. AAP/Refugee Action Collective

Manus Island hunger strikes are a call to Australia’s conscience

Reports continue to emanate of escalating hunger strikes among asylum seekers at the Manus Island detention centre in protest at the length of their detention and their conditions. The Australian government…
EPA/Sergei Chirikov

Putting the boot in Putin

Sanctions work. Russia’s problems may be manifold and closely related to the precipitous decline in the price of oil, but sanctions have played an important part in bringing Russia to its economic knees…
EPA/Drew Angerer

Political order and decay

It is becoming increasingly commonplace to observe that we live in an era of disorder and instability. Whether it is the seemingly endless conflicts and political upheavals in the Middle East, the return…
A TV ad featuring an Australian woman travelling to Bali and falling for a Balinese man captures Australia’s love affair with Indonesia. EPA/Made Nagi

Look who’s talking: Indonesian in Australia

Recently, Indonesian language has begun to make an appearance in Australian popular media. There is evidence too that, after years of decline, student interest in Indonesian language and studying in Indonesia…
Asylum seekers with an existing mental health condition who receive negative outcomes during the application process are particularly vulnerable. Barat Ali Batoor

‘Fast track’ asylum processing risks fairness for efficiency

After much controversy, the Senate passed the Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 late last week. One aspect of the law – the “fast track assessment…
Reform within the Indonesian police have been very slow, with discriminatory ‘virginity testings’ and police torture and brutality still rampant. global-citizen-01.blogspot.com/flickr

Indonesia’s police ‘virginity tests’ fit pattern of flagrant rights abuses

Human Rights Watch reported last week that Indonesian police conducted two-finger “virginity tests” on young female police cadets as part of their recruitment process. Following a public uproar, the Indonesian…
EPA/Michael Reynolds

Hagelian dialectics: Chuck gets the chop

To lose one Secretary of Defense might be considered unfortunate. To have lost three and to be looking for a fourth looks like something more fundamental and systemic. The early departure of Chuck Hagel…
AAP/Lukas Coch

The G20: thanks for noticing

There’s nothing quite like being the centre of attention, even if it costs A$400 million to do so. Now that the curtain has come down on Australia’s moment in the diplomatic spotlight, taxpayers might…
EPA/Kim Kyung-Hoon

China and the new regional order

The region’s diplomats and leaders have been earning their money over the last few weeks. Or they have, at least, if their preferred key performance indicators are meetings attended, photos posed for…

Does multilateralism still matter?

For those of us who believe that international institutions are a good idea in principle, these ought to be quite exciting times. After all, we’re about to host the G20 and there will be an even bigger…
Go with the group on trick or treat this Halloween. Sean Locke Photography

Trick or treating this Halloween? Know your group behaviour

Halloween is upon us tonight and it’s all just a bit of harmless fun, right? Or is there truly a dark side to Halloween? What should we make of kids getting together in groups, wearing costumes that hide…
EPA/Takaki Yajima

No consensus about Beijing’s new bank

China’s decision to establish an Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) may prove to be one of the most important regional initiatives in recent history. At the very least it is yet another revealing…
The Abbott governments rush to sign bilateral trade deals with countries including Japan has meant quality has been sacrificed. Alan Porritt/AAP

Australia’s trade negotiating strategy fundamentally flawed

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this Free Trade Scorecard series…
AAP/Dan Peled

Coal, capitalism and intergenerational justice

The ANU’s recent decision to stop investing in companies it judges to have behaved in an unsustainable manner environmentally or even socially has attracted a great deal of attention. The overwhelming…

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